RBS refuses to back down on shareholder committee resolution

RBS ShareSoc shareholder resolution

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has refused to back down on a decision not to allow a shareholder resolution, calling on the bank to establish a shareholder committee.

The resolution, to be proposed at RBS’ AGM later this year, was proposed by 168  shareholders last December and is being coordinated by the ShareSoc, the UK Individual Shareholders Society and UKSA, the UK Shareholders’ Association.… Read the rest

Sports Direct takes action to respond to criticisms of working practices and corporate governance

Major institutional investors were among those criticising retailer Sports Direct at its AGM this week and showed their disquiet about the company through their votes. The majority of independent shareholders voted against the re-election of the chairman Keith Hellawell and in favour of a shareholder resolution put forward by the Trade Union Share Owners (TUSO) group and Islington Council calling for an independent investigation into how the company treats its workers.… Read the rest

Conflicts of interest, human capital and investor confidence concerns dog Sports Direct

In a surprise change of PR last Friday, (26 August 2016) Sports Direct announced that it would hold a public open day to coincide with its AGM on 7th September  at its premises in Shirebrook. The event is said to “enable the board to engage with as many people as possible in an open discussion about the business.” In an unprecedented move the AGM is also being opened up to non-shareholders – previous AGMs have previously been tightly restricted to shareholders only with all press excluded.Read the rest

Sports Direct AGM turmoil looms

Besieged retailer Sports Direct  has responded to further criticism of its governance practices. This time it is the  poor standard of its board evaluation procedures which Manifest’s recent AGM report has flagged as a clear breach of the UK Governance Code.… Read the rest

VW shareholder resolution requests a special audit of ‘dieselgate’ scandal

The German investors’ association, DSW, has tabled a shareholder resolution to be considered at next month’s AGM of carmaker Volkswagen (VW), which is proposing a special audit into the actions of its directors in respect of the ‘dieselgate’ scandal. Last year the company admitted falsifying emissions test results in its diesel cars around the world.… Read the rest

Oil company climate change reporting demand gains traction

Shareholder resolutions requesting reporting on how oil companies ExxonMobil and Chevron will adapt to climate change targets received record investor backing at their AGMs last week (25th May), according to US pressure group, Ceres.

The resolution that would have required ExxonMobil to prepare an annual report examining the implications to the company’s business if world leaders follow through on their pledges to keep global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius, above pre-industrial levels, received 38% of the vote while a similar resolution put before Chevron’s investors got 41% backing from shareholders.… Read the rest

Easygroup’s Stelios steps in to call Fastjet EGM

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou has used Easygroup’s, 12.6% stake in African no-frills airline, Fastjet, to call an extraordinary meeting (EGM) which seeks to remove its chief executive, Ed Winter, and its general counsel and company secretary, Krista Bates.

The EGM resolutions seek Winter’s removal as a director as well as chief executive and for Bates to be removed as a board director.… Read the rest

Farewell Bond, will Dimon be forever?

It’s being quite a few days for corporate governance. First, the unprecedented (at least since our records began in 1996) shock yesterday of Sir John Bond’s ejection as Chair of Glencore Xstrata, whilst in the same week, the PR chicanery currently being played out in the US ahead of JPMorgan’s AGM next week over the question of whether the Chair and Chief Executive roles should be split out.… Read the rest

Soc Gen rebuffs Chair/CEO split call, but was it legal?

French SICAV Proxy Active Investors is crying foul over the high handed dismissal of its proposal to separate the chair and CEO roles at Société Générale.

On April 7th 2010, PhiTrust, the managers of Proxy Active, and a group of international institutional shareholders filed a resolution requesting a statue change to split the roles.… Read the rest

BP faces tar sands test

A shareholder resolution tabled at BP’s AGM calling for more financial, environmental and social information on the implications of extracting oil sands has managed to achieve 6% of votes in favour. Taking abstentions or votes positively witheld, the company was only able to achieve 85% support for its approach to this controversial exploration scheme.… Read the rest

Novel resolution seeks to opposition votes count

A new shareholder resolution, debuting at NYSE-listed General Electric Co.’s April 28 meeting, is asking the board to adopt a policy prohibiting any director receiving more than a 20% opposition vote from serving on a key board committee (audit, compensation or nomination) for at least two years.… Read the rest

FairPensions takes on the oil giants

February’s Guest Article is by Louise Rouse, FairPensions’ Director of Investor Engagement and looks at their recent initiative to engage with leading oil producers about their oil sands projects

FairPensions LogoThe 2010 AGM season could herald both a new era of public accountability for companies and their investors and a template for future shareholder activism. … Read the rest